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1st XI Build Confidence Ahead of League Season With Win Over Mayfield

5 May 2021 - Harry Robinson

An early week changed of opposition saw The Vine travel to the picturesque Mayfield on Saturday for a 45 over a side fixture.

The return of Luke Schlemmer as captain, having been nursed back to health, saw Sevenoaks field what is likely to be the side to take to the field for the first league game against Bickley Park for the first league game on May 8th.

Schlemmer’s first act as captain was to win the toss and insert the opposition on a hard but seemingly green wicket, much to the majority of his sides dismay.

Sevenoaks were slow to start with familiar foe James Hockley taking advantage of some wayward early bowling. Miles Richardson bowled well but without reward but it was the introduction of Chris Vernon that saw The Vine gain a real foothold in the game. Vernon found a nagging length from early on that seemed difficult to put away and was rewarded with 2 early wickets.

Despite one of the coldest Aprils in memory, the lack of rain has led to some exceptionally dry, spinner friendly pitches. The recently returning Tom Coldman, was however, insistent on not using the pitch in picking up the prized scalp of Hockley when he drove a low full toss at Michael Barber at short cover, clinging to it in a way only an expectant father could.

Wickets continued to fall at regular intervals for Mayfield with Karl Pearson rolling back the years with a fine spell and the enigmatic Andy Reid Dick showing that he was back to somewhere close to his dangerous best. Both bowlers finishing with 3 wickets a piece as The Vine managed to restrict Mayfield to 157 all out.

A light rain shower between innings caused a minor delay but it was Vernon and Ben Price who took the field to open the innings for Sevenoaks against, what turned out to be, a strong opening bowling partnership. Vernon was dismissed early, guiding a wide delivery to backward point.

The replacement batsman, John Bowden, negotiated a fairly hostile spell of bowling only to then find himself trapped LBW for 5, bringing Schlemmer to the crease. It was Schlemmer who quickly found his stride, timing the ball well on a difficult wicket.

Price made his way patiently to 32, only to chase a wide delivery and somehow managing to edge it to the keeper. Mike Barber joined overseas Schlemmer at the crease and were quick to pounce on any wayward bowling combining for a partnership of 62 before Barber was dismissed.

Michael Cowdrey entered with only 34 runs required and managed to make 32 of them himself off 21 balls, Schlemmer seemingly happy to take a backseat at the other end.

The Vine ended the game winning by 6 wickets with 13 overs remaining. An all round performance with bat and ball to be extremely encouraged by with the impending league season on the doorstep.